May 5, 2011

Sick Day 2011

With the space heater cranked up to "Max" and the humidifier gurgling out steam, my bedroom is reminiscent of Phnom Penh. Minus, of course, the geckos and Khmer Karaoke. For all its inconveniences, Cambodia was a very mucus membrane-friendly place. Though not at all a good place to be ill.

Now that I am suffering through a sinus and ear infection in my hometown, I can appreciate the exotic humidity and 88 degree sleeping temperatures I once cursed.

Little defeats. That's what getting sick feels like. When you wake up in a cold sweat, unable to breathe through your nose with a pounding headache. When you're filling tissue after tissue with green mucus. When you have to call in sick to work even though your paycheck is already disappointing. Or maybe when you realize that your prescription will cost you more than a full day's work, more than doubling your opportunity cost of missing a day. Finally, when your medication makes your body feel like the desert--though a mucus-free desert.

Little victories. Legitimate sickness diagnosed by a real doctor. An excuse to eat whatever sounds good and drink Gatorade. Reading David Sedaris books instead of lifting mulch. Soaking in the tub instead of watering plants. Sending pathetic text messages instead of answering customer questions. Watching a documentary on North Korea instead of watching the clock.

My body usually gives up around this time of year. Surviving winter is a great accomplishment worthy of some sort of activity-halting infection. Cheers to the annual spring sickness. And to taking a much-needed sick day.